Reason I: It's better for the LA Rams to finish off 2023 the right way
(Give me) "Something to Believe in" is a catchy song title written by the band Poison's lead singer, Brett Michaels, lost his good friend and bodyguard, James Kimo Maano, who died on Christmas Eve in 1989. While the subject matter is a bit sobering, the plea throughout the song to 'give me something to believe in,' applies to the LA Rams in 2023 as well.
The Rams are currently 3-6, and the tide could flow either way. Perhaps the Rams will struggle to win another game, and as a result will draft a Top-5 player in each round of the 2024 NFL Draft. But I would argue that it is more important for this Rams team to learn how to win now.
In terms of the 2024 NFL Free Agency market, the answer is obvious. The LA Rams will have an easier time of attracting top names among NFL players to sign with the team if the Rams suddenly start winning. That success becomes good marketing for players who want to associate themselves with an NFL team that knows how to win in the playoffs. The LA Rams have appeared in Super Bowl LIII and LVI, and won Super Bowl LVI. For veteran players, that is a huge factor in determining which team they want to play for in 2024.
What about the 2024 NFL Draft?
While the fixation of NFL fans on a specific college player generates a lot of buzz and great debate, I simply point to the way the LA Rams handled the 2023 NFL Draft as evidence that the Rams really do know what they are doing. The Rams landed strong talented prospects who, in many ways, slipped past the scrutiny and analysis of 31 other NFL teams.
LA Rams rookie WR Puka Nacua was selected to the team in Round 5 of the 2023 NFL Draft, with the 177th overall pick, and is the most dangerous rookie receiver in the NFL this year. The Rams found bargains in Round 2, 3, and 6 as well. So it's not as vital to 'pick early,' as it is to pick wisely.
To many LA Rams fans, the worst possible scenario for the 3-6 Rams team is to finish the season with six or more wins and not make the playoffs. But I would argue otherwise. The LA Rams undertook their 2023 strategy knowing that it would take two or more seasons to succeed. But success won't suddenly appear in the sky like a lightning bolt. It will come slowly. And for the LA Rams to achieve the level of success that the organization and the fans hope for in 2024, that success will need to sprourt now.